The Four Crucial Mobile Home Repair Issues

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Skirting, windows, flooring, and plumbing are four of the most common mobile home repair issues for which homeowners frequently seek help or advice.

We cover each mobile home repair issue below, together with tips on how to identify issues, the severity of each, and the crucial next steps you must take to avoid any additional problems.

1. Mobile Home Skirting

Skirting represents one of the more distinctive visual elements of a mobile home. Wrapping around the structure’s entire perimeter, it covers the area between the bottom of the mobile home and the foundation beneath it.

Identify the Issue

Skirting serves many purposes. It helps:

  • Protect the mobile home’s underside, piping, and electrical components
  • Keep the mobile home warm in winter and cool in summer
  • Improve the property’s look

Any issues with skirting — such as holes, dents, and rust — increase the risks of weather-related damage, decrease curb appeal, and may even violate community guidelines.

Determine the Severity

Carefully inspect the entire skirt.

  • Are any panels missing?
  • Are there holes in any panels?
  • Is the tracking that holds the skirting in place weaning due to age, wear, or rust?
  • Does the overall condition of the skirt materially impact the aesthetics/attractiveness of the mobile home?

While you might wish to replace an old and tired looking skirt, it’s probably safe to delay replacement in favor of other pressing issues such as holes or missing panels (or other urgent matters we’ll examine soon).

Establish Your Next Step

Immediately set about repairing holes or replacing missing skirt sections. If the skirt is functional but unattractive, take care of other issues first.

2. Mobile Home Windows

Windows are among the most frequently addressed home improvement issues, up there with kitchen remodels and room additions.

Identify the Issue

Depending on their age, use, and materials, windows can develop several issues:

  • Cracked or broken glass
  • Window out of alignment with its track
  • Water leaks
  • Poor ventilation

Determine the Severity

Address any window issues rapidly. A crack can become broken glass inside a room or outside on a lawn; sealant issues can cause water damage to walls and floors; a window that cannot open all the way impacts your control over the mobile home’s interior climate control.  

We could go on, but the message is clear: it’s important to tackle window problems immediately. 

Establish Your Next Step

Are you the mobile home DIY type? Have a good record of taking care of home-based projects for yourself and others? If so, the degree of difficulty associated with replacing a mobile home window might not intimidate you. But if you’re not the handiest person it’s likely best to leave any replacements to a professional.  

If the window’s track alignment is bad, ensure a shifting foundation isn’t causing the issue. In such a case, replacing the window might not do much for you in the long run — you’ll have bigger fish to fry first. If there’s only one window experiencing such a problem, you may be okay to advance with replacing it. But if multiple windows or doors share alignment problems — especially on one wall or side of the house — get an inspector to gauge what may be a much larger underlying issue.

Is there water damage caused by poor window sealing? Find and patch any trouble spots and then focus on floor or wall repair. This may be easier said than done, requiring you to remove interior or exterior wall material to examine the space immediately next to and beneath the window, as well as the adjacent floor.

3. Mobile Home Flooring

If an unsealed area around your window allowed water to seep inside the mobile home, there’s a chance that water damaged the floor. This is especially the case if the floor is medium-density fiberboard, which soaks up water.

Identify the Issue

If the flooring sustained damage from a water leak around a window, from the roof, or because of a plumbing problem, there will likely be some telltale signs. They include bowed flooring, an overly soft feeling when you step on it, or via visual inspection if you pull the carpet back from the area. Wood rot may also be visible upon close inspection.

A foundation shift might be responsible for any otherwise unexplainable variation in floor height. If your inspection efforts don’t turn up signs of water damage, hire a professional to check the foundation.

Determine the Severity

If the floor did get wet, understand that it will never again take the shape or provide the firmness it once did. You’ll want to replace the affected portion. Use a material that is more water-resistant, such as plywood. 

Establish Your Next Step

If the affected space isn’t large, doesn’t run under any existing walls, and can be easily removed with risk to the (assumed unaffected by rot) joists below, this is a job you can take on yourself. However, if any of those three conditions exist, hire an experienced contractor since the mobile home’s structural integrity may be impacted.

4. Mobile Home Plumbing

Few home issues strike free in people as much as those related to plumbing. They can be difficult, costly, and even a bit aggravating to address. Since water can cause so much damage, it is vital to deal with issues as soon as they appear. 

Identify the Issue

Damage around windows and on floors may be traced back to water. If the water entered the home through a hole, we’ve already looked at how to address it. The signs will be the same — visible rot, weak flooring, wet patches, or puddles — but if water damage was sustained as the result of a burst or leaking pipe, you’ll have to approach the matter differently. 

Determine the Severity

If the plumbing issue originated from an easily accessible area, such as under a kitchen sink or in the crawl space, you might be able to fix it yourself. However, inaccessible pipes that are frozen or which have large cracks might require a call to a local plumber.

Establish Your Next Step

Replacement piping, wrenches, epoxy, screwdrivers, plumber’s tape: the list of tools required to fix minor issues isn’t long. For plumbing issues around electrical components, shower or bathtub trays, or difficult-to-reach spans of pipe, contact a professional plumber with experience working on mobile home plumbing.

(Source: MHVillager)

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